This wasn’t my intended blog post for this week but sometimes you just got to write what is on your mind/heart.
This week I was hanging out Twitter (I’m not just an Instagram girl!) when I saw a load of tweets coming out about Beth Moore. Now, I know NOTHING about Beth Moore other than she is a preacher over in the USA. She’s been on the edge of my awareness because, before I de-Americanised a lot of my influences, several people I followed online sung her praises. So obviously I thought she was okay and didn’t have a second thought about her impact.
Well, it turns out that a respected complementarian and Calvinist Bible teacher (who I had never heard of before because *social media echo chamber*) called John MacArthur has told her to “go home” during a public event. In other words, to stop preaching and teaching. I’m not going to comment on whether or not he was right to say that (sorry but no controversy today) but it did lead me down a rabbit hole of “who is Beth Moore?”. From another tweet, I found this bio of Beth Moore. I would recommend reading it if you want to know the reasons for being wary of Beth Moore (they make some good points) but, as a history graduate, I will urge you to consider all the facts before coming to a conclusion.
Right, back to the title of this blog post: Why have a Statement of Faith? One of the things that this bio of Beth Moore held against her was that she didn’t have a statement of faith or doctrinal basis on her blog. They considered this to be worrying. If there is no statement of faith or doctrine, how do we know what someone’s teaching is based on?
“However, there is no doctrinal statement, and as such we don’t see any affirmation of the Trinity, that Jesus is a man right now with two natures: divine and human. I could not find anything affirming justification by faith alone in Christ alone, or whether or not baptism is necessary for salvation (it isn’t). It is always helpful for a Christian ministry to have a doctrinal statement because it enables people to quickly see what basis a person is teaching from. Without one, we have to ask questions regarding what she believes concerning the Trinity, the deity of Christ, the sacrifice of Christ, the physical resurrection of Christ, baptism, how to be saved, etc.”Matt Slick, Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry
I would like to clarify that this is the first time I’ve come across CARM. Such is the wonderful way of the interweb. I do not agree with every argument made in the bio on Beth Moore. However, the above quote really made me think about Finding Chaya as a ministry of sorts. While FC isn’t so much a ministry as a collection of essays about being a Christian woman today trying to figure out life with Jesus, it is grounded thoroughly in Christianity. Therefore, it should have a doctrinal statement or statement of faith.
Only there wasn’t one…
Why the Nicene Creed?
So I had a think about what my statement of faith is. When asked what my faith is what is my response? I looked at this in an earlier post about my multi-denominational group at work. My very simple statement of faith was that if you considered Jesus Christ to be the Son of God and accept that He died for your sins I would consider you a Christian. However, between a friend’s comments on that particular post and reading CARM’s bio on Beth Moore, I felt like I needed something a little more detailed.
In choosing what a more detailed statement of faith should look like for Finding Chaya, I saw very little point in writing my own. Why reinvent the wheel? I grew up in the Church of England, which is fairly well known for its love of liturgy including creeds. This meant I spent quite a few Sundays reciting the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds. Even now the Nicene Creed is used by some of the multi-denominational groups I am part of because it has been used by Christians for centuries and doesn’t have denominational loyalties. Even better, the Nicene Creed is a little more detailed than the Apostles’ Creed so there is less room for misinterpretation.
Essentially, the Nicene Creed seemed like a natural choice for Finding Chaya.
One of the values of Finding Chaya is that the Bible is the word of God, intended to guide us through life. So it is crucial that whatever statement of faith Finding Chaya stands on has a strong biblical foundation. It can’t just have a strong history and tradition, which the Nicene Creed definitely has.
Fortunately, the Nicene Creed also has a strong Biblical basis. Each line can be supported by references from scripture, though I don’t have room to go through them here. From why we use the word ‘Catholic’ (1 Corinthians 1:2 – recognising the whole Church) through to how God can be ‘Light of light’ (John 8:12 – Jesus as the light of the world), every line is scripturally supported. It is a brilliant example of how the Bible has remained at the core of the Church throughout history, even when Christians themselves have dramatically strayed at times.
So where do we go from here? We have a statement of faith for Finding Chaya, which will sit alongside our values and shape them. In turn, all our content, from the blog to our social media, will be shaped by both our values and our statement of faith.
While all our content will not always discuss the Bible or our faith as Christians, they are very much the foundation to this blog. So whether we are discussing unconditional love in Harry Potter or why second breakfasts are brilliant, everything is built on the truth of the Bible. The Nicene Creed just happens to be a concise but detailed way of explaining what that truth is.